Collectibles gathering dust and taking up space in attics and garages around the Valley could soon have new life, as the History Channel show “American Pickers” is searching for prospects in California.
“American Pickers” is a documentary series that explores the ever-changing world of antique “picking.” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fitz, stars of the hit television show, plan to film episodes throughout the region this spring, and are looking for area collectors with unique antiques that have interesting stories behind them. Wolfe and Fitz last picked California in early 2016, when the duo visited a 113-year-old home on Oakdale’s West F Street. In 2015, episodes were filmed in the Pixley-Bakersfield area.
According to “American Pickers” Supervising Producer Ben Epstein, California is an ideal state for the crew to sift through barns, attics, garages, outbuildings and junkyards for special items that to others would be considered junk.
“It’s such a large and diverse state with a unique history,” said Epstein. “It’s where a lot of people end up with an array of belongings with them.”
Wolfe and Fitz make offers to collection owners on items that they believe they can sell at their Antique Archaeology shops in Iowa and Tennessee. Regardless of whether or not the pair buys any items at the homes they visit, a historic lesson on the items is always learned.
Epstein said that although Wolfe and Fitz specialize in all things transportation, such as antique American motorcycles, bicycles and gas and oil pieces, those items just scratch the surface of what the pickers are interested in.
“They are truly passionate about finding rare and unique items they’ve never seen before,” Epstein said. “Things that tell a story about a time, a place and the people who once used them.”
Specific items that Wolfe and Fitz are in search for may include vintage toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising signs, military items, folk art, pre-50s western gear, early firefighting equipment, vintage musical equipment, automotive items and clothing. Glassware and farm equipment are two types of collections that the pickers are in not in search of, said Epstein, and collections that are open to the public such as stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions and businesses are not eligible for the show.
The amount of time that “American Pickers” spends filming in California depends on how many enticing picks are in the area, Epstein added. Those with large and rare antique collections are encouraged to call or email the show as soon as possible.
To be considered for the show, send your name, phone number location and description of the collection with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-OLD-RUST.